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Phuket seeks to revive tourism with 3 major events planned



PHOTO: Bao Menglong on Unsplash

Phuket is planning a series of promotional events in an effort to revive tourism in the hard-hit province. With tourism accounting for 80% of the economy, Phuket is arguably one of the most highly-impacted areas in the country after the economic fallout of the Covid pandemic struck. The Minister of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit, is overseeing the staging of 3 major events that are hoped to breathe new life into the ashes of the island’s battered tourism industry.

Jurin, who also serves as Deputy PM, has visited Phuket to help plan for the events, which are being organised by local government and private businesses. They include the Phuket Seafood & Gastronomy Festival, which will run over 5 weeks, beginning in August, a surfing competition in September, and the annual traditional Vegetarian Festival in October.

Phuket’s stark problem revolves around its reliance on foreign tourists as a key driver in the island tourist economy. Currently there are no arrivals of foreign tourists as Thailand looks to continue its ban on general tourism whilst allowing a restricted dribble of specialist visitor and tourist groups. Meanwhile, the usually bustling streets of Patong, Phuket’s main seaside tourist magnet, remains a virtual ghost town with local traders unsure when, or if, Phuket’s local tourism will ever recover.

Asked about financial aid for Phuket businesses that have been devastated by the Covid-19 crisis, Jurin says the government is already providing such assistance in the form of soft loan arrangements from the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand. He says small to medium-sized businesses in the tourism, services, and manufacturing sectors are eligible for these loans, but adds that he will take on board the points that have been raised by Phuket businesses, and liaise with the Cabinet and the government’s Covid-19 task force to seek extra help for the province.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand


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